The Two Salvations

mainly from Bible Students Quarterly, Summer, 2000 
with editions and additions

 

Genesis 22:15. The angel of Yahweh called Abraham a second time from heaven. 16. "I swear by my own self, Yahweh declares, that because you have done this, because you have not refused me your own beloved son, 17. I will shower blessings on you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will gain possession of the gates of their enemies. 18. All nations on earth will bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed my command."

Heb 11:35. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.

SOME may be surprised that there are two salvations and may quote Acts 4:12, speaking of Yahshua Messiah:

"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

But we are not suggesting that there is, or could be, any other basis for salvation but Yahshua Messiah. Both salvations are through him. The Bible teaches that humankind is divided into two general categories of those who will be saved with each receiving a different reward: one will be earthly, the other heavenly.

General Salvation

The primary salvation is an earthly reward. Adam was never given heavenly prospects, he was never promised a future spirit nature in heaven. On the contrary he was created to live eternally upon the earth. Genesis 3:22 clearly states that he was given the power to "put forth his hand, and take also of the trees of life, and eat, and live forever." Live forever where? Obviously upon the earth; he was told to multiply and fill the earth with a race of perfect human beings like himself. But this privilege required his obedience. The alternative was death, not a continuation of his life as a spirit-being either in heaven or hell.

In Genesis 2:17 the Almighty told Adam plainly that if he disobeyed, he would "surely die." Adam did disobey, and there is no mistaking the sentence that the Almighty passed upon him, that he would "return unto the ground. For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19) Is Adam in heaven or hell? Neither. He is dead in the ground. Because of Adam's sin, all mankind were born sinners, and inherited death: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Romans 5:12)

Although the sentence of death was entirely just, the great love of the Almighty provided a salvation from death permitting mankind to be restored to life upon the earth such as Adam enjoyed before he sinned. This is what the Almighty originally designed should be the eternal destiny of all the obedient of mankind. Thus we read:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."--John 3:16

So we see that what was lost was life on earth, and life on earth is what is to be regained. Thus we read: "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." (Matthew 18:11)

Yahshua came to provide a ransom for Adam. He died without deserving to die, he laid down his perfect life sacrificially giving his unforfeited life in offset for Adam's forfeited life; thus he redeemed or "saved" Adam and all his race. The result will be that an opportunity for salvation from death will be extended to all mankind.

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:21,22)

The creeds of our church clearly state, "we believe in the resurrection of the dead." Every member of Adam's race will be brought back to life from the dead. Paul says that The Almighty "will have all men to be saved [from death] and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4) All the willing and obedient will be restored to humanity on earth. This will be during "the times of restitution of all things, which Yahweh hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21)

This is general salvation. It does not change man's earthly nature nor transport him to heaven. Those who attain to this salvation "shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." (Isaiah 65:21) That does not describe a spiritual, heavenly state.

Greater (Better) Salvation

Beside this salvation, there is another and greater salvation. It is offered now to a limited number of mankind. Those who partake of this greater salvation will experience a change of nature from human to spirit beings. They will die as humans and be resurrected to the glorious, immortal, divine nature. They will attain to the heavenly kingdom of the Almighty. Of such it is written:

"It is sown a natural [human] body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. . . . Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Elohim. ... We shall all be changed. ... For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."—1 Corinthians 15:44,49-51,53

These are the ones to whom Yahshua refers to in John 14:2,3: "In my Father's house are many mansions. ... I go to prepare a place for you. ... that where I am, there ye may be also."

Both salvations provide a deliverance from sin and death based upon the ransom sacrifice of Yahshua. Both lead to life -- one to human life on earth, the other to spirit life on earth and in heaven. But only the greater salvation, termed in Philippians 3:14, "the prize of the high calling of the God in Messiah Yahshua," is offered now. Its beginning is referred to as "so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by Yahweh, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." (Hebrews 2:3)

Our Lord Yahshua opened the way that is called "a new and living way" (Hebrews 10:20) by his ransom sacrifice. He became our Savior from death. It was he who issued the invitation to the great salvation. Paul refers again to this greater salvation in the following passage:

"[Elohim] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Messiah Yahshua before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Yahshua Messiah, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (2 Timothy 1:9,10)

The Cost of Greater Salvation

Unlike general salvation, this "greater salvation" costs a person everything he has. The living of a good and moral life, although very commendable, is not sufficient to gain this highest prize. There must be a full consecration or dedication of one's self, and everything one has, to the cause of Messiah. This is what Yahshua meant when he said, "sell all that thou hast." (Luke 18:22) But to one who does so, nothing is really lost. It is merely exchanged for something of immensely greater value, which Yahshua called "treasure in heaven." This is the "great" salvation, the heavenly inheritance, called "glory and honor and immortality, eternal life." (Romans 2:7)

The "high calling of Yahweh in Messiah Yahshua" was very real to the apostle Paul. He saw its value. He did not consider the cost too high. He said:

"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)

He willingly exchanged all his earthly prospects for the much more excellent heavenly prospects:

"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Messiah. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Messiah Yahshua my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them as vile refuse, that I may win Messiah." (Philippians 3:7,8)

He recommended to other believers in Messiah that they do the same thing, saying:

"Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto the Almighty, which is your logical duty. Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:1,2)

Those aspiring to the "great salvation" must not submit themselves to the evil influences of this world, to be shaped by them, but must submit themselves entirely to the will of the Almighty. By doing so they will be transformed in mind and character by a heavenly influence, the Holy Spirit. Those of the "high calling" are under Yahweh’s special care. We read of such:

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love Elohim; to them who are the called according to his purpose."—Romans 8:28

Earthly prosperity is not promised, but every good spiritual advantage is assured to these "sons of Elohim." Blessed are those who hear and obey the call to this greater salvation!

Salvation Conclusion

So there are two salvations, the general salvation and the better salvation. We can call them the General Resurrection and the Resurrection of the Elect. Again, "general" applies to the people of the world at large, including those who never heard the name of Yahshua in their natural lifetimes, did not understand the Gospel or were hampered from accepting Yahshua by the devil. During the Millennium, all mankind -- everyone that ever lived -- will be raised from the dust to be taught truth, put to work for their fellow man and judged over the course of the thousand-year reign of Yahshua. You might ask, "How can all people be resurrected when the world is now so overcrowded?" First, the Bible says so. Second, did you know that every living human being on earth could pack into Jacksonville, each having a 3’ x 2’ space? Do the math. And every man, woman and child in the entire world could each have an acre in Texas - there are over six billion acres there. And every person from Adam on will be brought back from the dust of the ground for the great day of Yahshua’s reign. (Remember, a prophetic day as is a thousand years.)

As for those included in the better salvation: at physical death they will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye into glorified humans like Jesus -- with bodies that can walk on earth, through the earth or appear and disappear at will, with great, multidimensional powers. And they will need these powers, for Elect will be the great new masters of the world under the Messiah Yahshua, the Kings and governors and statesmen and judges and policemen and ministers of a New World Order -- not the NWO men are trying to bring about through conspiratorial, satanic secret organizations -- but the great Millennium Kingdom of Yahshua, prophesied and promised from the foundation of the world, when Messiah will rule with the rod of iron and the shepherd’s staff, and humanity will no longer have to be frightened into knowing God, for all will learn of him in that godly era. The devil will be bound in chains. All mankind will be given a second chance in those days soon to come, and you may have the opportunity to teach thousands about Yahshua without the interference of the devil. Those of the general resurrection will have a clear choice. Those who choose the way of Yahshua will choose eternity. Those who choose their own way will die a second time, having lost their chance to be a part of the great universal economy of Yahweh the Creator. This is what the Bible calls "the second death."

At the end of the Millennium, the devil is let loose for a little time to take what remained in his possession on earth. Then the devil, death, Hades and all who are his will be swallowed up and destroyed in a great holocaust the Bible calls "The Lake of Fire," never to afflict glorified humanity again. Yahshua and his Elect will lead the inhabitants of the world into perfection, and, at the end of his thousand year reign, he will present a perfect world to his Eternal Father as a love gift, and we will be an important part of this great new heavenly star.

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

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